Dubai They regularly spur petty arguments between husband and wife, their price and place in the bedroom seem to knock everyone out.
They’re the Collector’s Item Nike rubber shoes —- not one, not two, but over a 100 pairs and counting —- owned and cherished by men, who, like you and me, also have just one pair of feet.
You take care of these shoes as you would with your car ... At least, our shoes won’t fit just two feet, but they’ll also go a long way to help the flood victims back home
And yet when you open their closets, you’d see somewhat a display room for priced basketball shoes in a mall. All of them important, all with attached sentimental value by the owner. That’s why when a proposal to auction some of them off to raise funds for flood victims in Manila came up, the idea did not pass without serious thought.
“You can take anything you want, anything, just not the love of my life,” Benjie Bogal, 38, a Filipino expatriate who works as an assistant facility manager, tells Gulf News jokingly. Bogal was referring to his 68 pairs of Nike basketball shoes all painstakingly bought through eBay.
These ‘loves’ of his life include all the 27 Air Jordan Series, the shoes popularised by basketball superstar Michael Jordan, collected in the past seven years. But how did it become 68 pairs? Bogal says he has more than one pair for each series. His Air Jordan 4, for example, was bought in pairs of eight.
Andy Del Rosario, 31, a propsman, does not fall behind.
His 100-plus pairs of shoes also include the complete Air Jordan Series and more.
This confessed ‘sneaker head’ buys up to four pairs of basketball shoes a month. He stores them properly in their shelves, often putting them in a ziploc plastic bag to preserve the quality of the leather and prevent the colour to fade.
“You take care of these shoes as you would with your car,” Del Rosario says.
Once a week, he makes sure to check on them just to see if they need “maintenance.”
Both guys estimate their collection to be more than Dh30,000. Not all the shoes get worn though. Some of the rare ones are kept in a shelf, more like a pedestal of sorts.
From their collection, each has donated at least three pairs for auction on Friday (August 10) at the fourth Filipino basketball championship game at the Dubai Club for Special Sports in Al Ghusais. Four others were also bringing their share too.
Proceeds of the auction will be sent directly to the Philippine Red Cross to help over one million people affected by floods in Metro Manila and other parts of Luzon.
Incessant and record-breaking rains, worsened by typhoon ‘Haikui’ in the northern Philippines, have transformed Luzon into a virtual water world.
“This may not be much; maybe we could sell each beginning at a price of Dh300,” Bogal says, adding, “The thought that we’re giving away something that hurt us the most to people who need it badly pretty much makes us feel at ease. At least, our shoes won’t fit just two feet, but they’ll also go a long way to help the flood victims back home.”